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Thread: Opinions on Original vs Modern Reproduction Lever guns?

  1. #81
    Boolit Master
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    I'm new to the lever action game, but I am quite impressed with my new (used, but like new) Uberti Model 1886 Hunter Lite rifle. I guess I have become a fan of Italian made firearms, as I recently bought a Pietta 1873 SAA revolver, and all my trap guns are Beretta's.

    Don
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  2. #82
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kev18 View Post
    Im sure guns would be insane quality if they would of had the materials we had today. No question about it. But in general the fit and finish is poor today. Stuff is stamped or carved by machine . Like wood, for example. They don't care if theres a massive gap in-between the tang and wood. Its a stock so it's going on.
    Kev
    That has not been my experience ---bought three new guns in the last 25 years (Miruko 71, Uberti 76 , and now the Chiappa 86) - standard grade guns - the external fit and finish on all three was first class -----however all three required serious gunsmithing to get them to work as they should - they were not broken - just not built correctly.

  3. #83
    Boolit Master Kev18's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by indian joe View Post
    Kev
    That has not been my experience ---bought three new guns in the last 25 years (Miruko 71, Uberti 76 , and now the Chiappa 86) - standard grade guns - the external fit and finish on all three was first class -----however all three required serious gunsmithing to get them to work as they should - they were not broken - just not built correctly.
    Ok, and as a consumer who pays money for a product are you ok with that? Thats like saying you paid top dollar for quality boots, but the soles are half stuck on so when you walk they flop in the wind. Nothing is broken, just not well put together.

  4. #84
    Boolit Master
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    Well, if a fella has ever closely examined, owned and used pre-war German, British or American made Paul Jaeger, Al Linder or Griffin & Howe rifles it is beyond my ken how ANY modern made production rifle, from any country, can be considered first class. They ALL come in a distant 3rd or 4th. Given my recent experience with Uberti, I HAVE to question their QC.
    "In general, the art of government is to take as much money as possible from one class of citizens and give it to another class of citizens" Voltaire'

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  5. #85
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kev18 View Post
    Ok, and as a consumer who pays money for a product are you ok with that? Thats like saying you paid top dollar for quality boots, but the soles are half stuck on so when you walk they flop in the wind. Nothing is broken, just not well put together.
    Kev
    No not ok with it but downunder we dont got a lot of options - get to fix stuff ourselves most times.

    1) the Browning Miroku 71- these generally have a good reputation - it looked nice and it shot good - trigger was good - action was stiff and clunky - I thought it would loosen up over time - had not shot it a lot (maybe 350 rounds the first couple of years) then pretty much parked it, maybe a box or two of twenty per year - someone on the forums here posed a question "what is the recess on the underside of the bolt of a model 92 for" well I knew the answer ( I bet you do too) but half way through typing it I went to my gunrack to pull down an original 92 to take a picture of it to show --- also took the 71 down, cycled it and hey ! it dont have that recess underneath - kinda puzzled I was so I spent some time searching parts diagrams for an original 71 and they sposed to have it (like I thought) -- soooo for then that havent figured this out - as we cycle these winnies - the first bit of leverstroke - there is a kind of hump under the bolt just in front of where the hammer strikes and that pushes the hammer down into the full cock notch then as we open the action further the recessed part on underside of the bolt runs clear of the top of the hammer till towards end of the lever stroke - that miroku was stiff beacuse for the entire lever stroke the bolt was bearing down on the mainspring via the hammer nose - the bolt was pushed up at the back so the guide rails were half jammed in the action as it cycled
    was this just a glitch in the CNC machining of my bolt? or did a batch of these get through the system because some brainiac thought they could save one more step in the process ? we will never know
    2) Uberti 1876 - it worked fine, good wood to metal fit - attractive CCH - beautiful barrel - scary accurate for a big blackpowder gun - just a shame it had a thirteen pound trigger pull - I blame the lawyers for that (one of the tests for Aussie import is they drop it while cocked and if the piece fires it gets sent back to Italy - this one passed the test with flying colours - I fixed it - no big deal - your blokes would just order a spring set from the cowboy shop
    3) The Chiappa - well I bought it well under the money - unmarked - had fired six shots - story was the guy brought it back because it kicked and he backtraded it for a lever shotgun - it wouldnt feed at all - I could have taken it back - got my money back - they woulda hung it on the wall and proly took another hundred off it - OR got it fixed - I made the choice to fix it - my choice - and glad I did - most fellers are scared up gutting an 1886 - I had that thing undone and back together more times than your fingers and toes - so I identified the problem, figured out the fix, did the work, - got me an attractive sweet shooting 1886 out of it - am pleased with my effort. And I dont have to worry whether that 120 year old steel is gonna quit on me if I feed it a couple of warm loads.

    I think we suffer from the effect that the people making these guns have got absolutely no idea how they sposed to function (or it seems so)

  6. #86
    I’ve been shooting cas matches for 20+ years and have only one original, an 1873 Winchester 1890s musket. I shoot it in several matches a year. All my others are Marlins 1894s, uberti ‘73s-a ‘66 musket-a ‘76 NWMP carbine and a 1970’s 1895 Browning that I plan on putting into a full military stock sometime this year. The old guns in pistol calibers should be fine with light loads but these antiques in rifle calibers need black unless they were actually built for smokeless. My favorite is my Marlin cowboy in .45lc, the prettiest is the 1866 brass frame musket and the 1895 in 30-06 and 1876 NWMP in 45-60 are tied for thump. Great rifles.

  7. #87
    Boolit Master

    Bent Ramrod's Avatar
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    There is a skewing of the comparison that a certain amount of time puts into the equation. George Grotz referred to it in his books on antique furniture, hand, vs. machine made.

    The owners who rhapsodized about their hand-made Chippendales conveniently ignored the fact that bulk of the handmade stuff came apart within a generation or less of use and went into the stove as firewood. Only the soundest survived, and you’d do well not to throw yourself into that chair or couch, even now. On the other hand, a lot more of the machine-made stuff seems to soldier on, despite its “inferior” workmanship. The “average” of machine vs hand made, was better quality, given the total number made, not the total surviving examples.

    Same thing happened with rock&roll music. To listen to an “oldies” station, you would think it was a Golden Age of talent and creativity (if you like the genre, of course). But I remember when the stuff first came out, and most of it was every bit the brain-rot our elders warned us against.

    The hand labor that could be lavished on things back when a “living wage” was $20 a month, or during the Depression, when Linden or Griffin and Howe would do their magic for a couple hundred dollars or less, is beyond the reach of most of us now. My level of “affordability” doesn’t allow me the well-cared-for, 75% original finish, specimens of the good-quality originals. The poor-condition examples I can afford have balky actions, heavy triggers and all the other woes that others complain bout in their replica examples. I haven’t had any of the problems with Uberti revolvers and Pedersoli replica rifles that others on Line have. I had to gingerly work down the triggers of two original, no-finish SA Colts just to get them within a pound or two of what the worst of my Italian replicas came with out of the box. Pietta, admittedly, got off to a rocky start, but seems to be as good as anything else now. And Shiloh and the other American replicas are better made and finished than all but the highest-grade originals, if what I see at Gun Shows is accurate.

    I have and continue to learn a lot trying to get original wrecks back into shooting condition, but if I was starting out now (at current prices for originals) and just wanted to shoot the old patterns (which was my original interest anyway), I would be “all replicas, all the time.”

  8. #88
    Boolit Master Kev18's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by indian joe View Post
    Kev
    No not ok with it but downunder we dont got a lot of options - get to fix stuff ourselves most times.

    1) the Browning Miroku 71- these generally have a good reputation - it looked nice and it shot good - trigger was good - action was stiff and clunky - I thought it would loosen up over time - had not shot it a lot (maybe 350 rounds the first couple of years) then pretty much parked it, maybe a box or two of twenty per year - someone on the forums here posed a question "what is the recess on the underside of the bolt of a model 92 for" well I knew the answer ( I bet you do too) but half way through typing it I went to my gunrack to pull down an original 92 to take a picture of it to show --- also took the 71 down, cycled it and hey ! it dont have that recess underneath - kinda puzzled I was so I spent some time searching parts diagrams for an original 71 and they sposed to have it (like I thought) -- soooo for then that havent figured this out - as we cycle these winnies - the first bit of leverstroke - there is a kind of hump under the bolt just in front of where the hammer strikes and that pushes the hammer down into the full cock notch then as we open the action further the recessed part on underside of the bolt runs clear of the top of the hammer till towards end of the lever stroke - that miroku was stiff beacuse for the entire lever stroke the bolt was bearing down on the mainspring via the hammer nose - the bolt was pushed up at the back so the guide rails were half jammed in the action as it cycled
    was this just a glitch in the CNC machining of my bolt? or did a batch of these get through the system because some brainiac thought they could save one more step in the process ? we will never know
    2) Uberti 1876 - it worked fine, good wood to metal fit - attractive CCH - beautiful barrel - scary accurate for a big blackpowder gun - just a shame it had a thirteen pound trigger pull - I blame the lawyers for that (one of the tests for Aussie import is they drop it while cocked and if the piece fires it gets sent back to Italy - this one passed the test with flying colours - I fixed it - no big deal - your blokes would just order a spring set from the cowboy shop
    3) The Chiappa - well I bought it well under the money - unmarked - had fired six shots - story was the guy brought it back because it kicked and he backtraded it for a lever shotgun - it wouldnt feed at all - I could have taken it back - got my money back - they woulda hung it on the wall and proly took another hundred off it - OR got it fixed - I made the choice to fix it - my choice - and glad I did - most fellers are scared up gutting an 1886 - I had that thing undone and back together more times than your fingers and toes - so I identified the problem, figured out the fix, did the work, - got me an attractive sweet shooting 1886 out of it - am pleased with my effort. And I dont have to worry whether that 120 year old steel is gonna quit on me if I feed it a couple of warm loads.

    I think we suffer from the effect that the people making these guns have got absolutely no idea how they sposed to function (or it seems so)
    That last sentence can't be more true. People making them aren'y gunsmith or even have any idea how a gun works. They just crank out parts on machines.

  9. #89
    Boolit Master Kev18's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Baltimoreed View Post
    I’ve been shooting cas matches for 20+ years and have only one original, an 1873 Winchester 1890s musket. I shoot it in several matches a year. All my others are Marlins 1894s, uberti ‘73s-a ‘66 musket-a ‘76 NWMP carbine and a 1970’s 1895 Browning that I plan on putting into a full military stock sometime this year. The old guns in pistol calibers should be fine with light loads but these antiques in rifle calibers need black unless they were actually built for smokeless. My favorite is my Marlin cowboy in .45lc, the prettiest is the 1866 brass frame musket and the 1895 in 30-06 and 1876 NWMP in 45-60 are tied for thump. Great rifles.
    No Issue with smokeless in old firearms. You can get way more precise and controlled loads with it. If you know what you are doing, you can get way lower pressures then actual BP. I run all smokeless in my rifles and they are all antiques. People always say that its dangerous because most people don't do any research and will load 44-40 like 44 mag with the same powder. It's safer for everyone saying that its not possible. I even use smokeless for a damascus barrel shotgun. No issues,

  10. #90
    Boolit Buddy
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    I'm mixed in my feelings regarding originals versus modern reproductions. I had a Rossi 92, 45 Colt that shot great but didn't set my hear aflutter. I have Browning/Miroku reproductions of the 65, 53 and 1886 Extra Lightweight that I truly enjoy. I know I couldn't touch an original of any of them, in the same condition, for what I paid for the reproductions. And each of them is superbly accurate. A friend's Browning 71 will shoot circles around my original 71.

    The originals of course take the day when you want to own one of the less common chamberings. There are no reproduction 40-82s or 38-72s and no gun company is going to build a new 86 in 33 Winchester.

    I agree 100% with Shrapnel on shooting the old ones. They were made for that purpose. It pains me to know of scores of old lever guns that sit in safes and never see the light of a cold fall morning.

    It comes down to they're all fun. I love getting old ones shooting again. Levers, bolts, revolvers, it doesn't matter. They need to be shot. I like having the reproductions because it lets me have some fun with some lever guns I wouldn't otherwise get an chance to play with if I had to wait on an affordable original.
    Only left handed guns are interesting!

  11. #91
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    I like both . The originals would always be first choice if I had a bigger budget but I don't and there is nothing wrong with the current crop of repros with the exception of the fake Remington Marlins . I own a couple of pre Remington Jm Marlins and want one of the Burgess repros and another Jm to convert to 38-55 . They are all good and all fun to own and shoot .
    Grumpy Old Man With A Gun....... Do Not Touch !!

  12. #92
    Boolit Master Kev18's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eddie Southgate View Post
    I like both . The originals would always be first choice if I had a bigger budget but I don't and there is nothing wrong with the current crop of repros with the exception of the fake Remington Marlins . I own a couple of pre Remington Jm Marlins and want one of the Burgess repros and another Jm to convert to 38-55 . They are all good and all fun to own and shoot .
    One thing I like about repro's or just newer guns is that I don't need to think before modifying them. They still make parts, and they aren't rare.

  13. #93
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kev18 View Post
    No Issue with smokeless in old firearms. You can get way more precise and controlled loads with it. If you know what you are doing, you can get way lower pressures then actual BP. I run all smokeless in my rifles and they are all antiques. People always say that its dangerous because most people don't do any research and will load 44-40 like 44 mag with the same powder. It's safer for everyone saying that its not possible. I even use smokeless for a damascus barrel shotgun. No issues,
    Kev
    I was gonna go smokeless with my 76 repro, even cut a bunch of cases to a different (shorter) length so I could load a different shape projectile, with a proper crimp groove, and I would know immediately when I picked them up whether I had black or smokeless loads.

    But about the same time some fellers on the blackpowder board helped me get going making my own - that worked out really well and now I am too cheapskate to want to mess with smokeless - I can put a full magazine through that Uberti and make a good group to the end (without cleaning) - so long as I dont go too fast and get it hot - those big blackpowder loads heat a barrel fast - my powder cost per load is under two cents - the gun is scary accurate if I knuckle down and try - cleanup is less than five minutes and I like handling the thing anyway so smokeless is out - have more or less gone the same track for the same reason with my 86 - just use a little duplex load in it as the barrel is not quite as shiny nice as the uberti so it fouls a bit sooner on straight black. I enjoy the whole process with these big lever guns - handling them - shooting them - loading for them - none of it is a chore - i figure I have been blessed - lucky!!

  14. #94
    Boolit Master Kev18's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by indian joe View Post
    Kev
    I was gonna go smokeless with my 76 repro, even cut a bunch of cases to a different (shorter) length so I could load a different shape projectile, with a proper crimp groove, and I would know immediately when I picked them up whether I had black or smokeless loads.

    But about the same time some fellers on the blackpowder board helped me get going making my own - that worked out really well and now I am too cheapskate to want to mess with smokeless - I can put a full magazine through that Uberti and make a good group to the end (without cleaning) - so long as I dont go too fast and get it hot - those big blackpowder loads heat a barrel fast - my powder cost per load is under two cents - the gun is scary accurate if I knuckle down and try - cleanup is less than five minutes and I like handling the thing anyway so smokeless is out - have more or less gone the same track for the same reason with my 86 - just use a little duplex load in it as the barrel is not quite as shiny nice as the uberti so it fouls a bit sooner on straight black. I enjoy the whole process with these big lever guns - handling them - shooting them - loading for them - none of it is a chore - i figure I have been blessed - lucky!!
    How do you make your powder? What do you use?

  15. #95
    Boolit Buddy BigEyeBob's Avatar
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    I have 4 lever guns ,two original winchesters in 44-40 full magazine rifles ,1873 made in 1889 ,in pristne conditon , a 1892 of 1910 vintage in very good condition ,a marlin 1895 in 45-70 ,1972 manufacture and in well used condition ,and finally a Rossi 92 clone stainless 24" octagonal barrel ,pretty new .I like them all .The two winchesters came from an estate sale , the 73 has done no work at all ,I doubt it had been fired for the time the original owner had it , some 80yrs I was told . The 92 has not fired many rounds , I have put one box of factory loads through it ,now hand loading cast for it. I havent fired the 73 as yet , but will eventually . The rossi required some work from new , new sights fitted , magazine spring shortened by 2 cartridge lengths ,and the mag tube secured with larger pin and deeper seated hole at the muzzle , complete strip of the action and cleaning of all sliding surfaces and lightly stoned ,trigger stoned and lightened slightly .The marlin was a lump of rust and blistered wood finish , fortunately the internals were not rusted like the exterior I paid 50 au dollars for it , it has been brought back to good condition and has had the trigger lightened , its my go to gun for pigs ,donkeys and scrub bulls . Some time in the future I will draw file all the exterior surfaces and give it a reblue ,current finish is a grey patina with some pitting.

  16. #96
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kev18 View Post
    How do you make your powder? What do you use?
    Theres all the info you need in a sticky at the head of the muzzle loader forum - just a couple of clicks away from here.
    Tip - follow Fly's posts

  17. #97
    Boolit Master Kev18's Avatar
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    I miss going shooting. Winter is a good time for me, except I work when it snows! I want to go shoot, Im making a few loads too I want to try.

  18. #98
    Boolit Buddy veeman's Avatar
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    Is that an original Remmy 75?

  19. #99
    Boolit Master Kev18's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by veeman View Post
    Is that an original Remmy 75?
    Its an 1858 Navy. And yes. Original

  20. #100
    Boolit Bub
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    Great picture!

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